Do you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ better today than you did last year or last week? Are you a growing Christian? If you don’t love Jesus Christ more today than you did yesterday, you’re backslidden.
Some Christians are saved, but they’re not growing. Unlike that tree Psalm 1:3 talks about, planted by the rivers of water, growing, flourishing, bearing fruit — they’re like a stump. They don’t grow.
You will never know the kind of victory and joy God has for you until you learn to be a growing Christian. When you think “growing Christian,” think “maturity.” You grow on toward maturity. You can be young only once, but you can be immature for a long time. You can be 50 and still be spiritually immature.
I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the Word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1 John 2:12-14)
Are you growing? Here are some ways you can tell.
What do you think about?
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.”(v. 12) One of the first signs that you are growing in Christ is that you think about what Jesus has done on your behalf. You reflect upon it and you praise Him for it. Your sins are forgiven and you’re on your way to heaven. What a glorious thought!
What are you doing with your life?
You’re saved, but you don’t stop there. You develop muscles and become a strong warrior to the glory of God.
“ye have overcome the wicked one” (v.13) and “ye are strong.” (v. 14)
You become an active member of the Lord’s army. Let me ask you: Is the devil afraid of you?Are you an overcomer or are you overcome?
If you are saved and still sitting on the sidelines, shame on you! Indeed, shame on all of us if we’re not exhorting and encouraging one another to lay down our lives to get into active service for our Lord!
Are you evangelizing and discipling others?
“I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning.” (vv. 13-14)
A father is one who has children. Do you have any spiritual children? This is a mark of a growing Christian — that you are multiplying yourself (what God did in you) by sharing it with others. When you appear before the throne of God, will you be standing there alone? Or will you be standing with children you have “parented” in Christ?
Do you know why we have so many flabby Christians? They come down the aisle of the church, get baptized, then come Sunday after Sunday and just sit, soak, and sour. They do not exercise. They don’t have daily quiet times; they’re not sharing Christ in their communities and neighborhoods; they’re not ministering in their church.
Do you want to be a growing Christian?
Here are some practical suggestions to get those spiritual muscles in shape:
- Call a community center and see if there are any widows who need work done on their homes, in their yards, or on their cars. Then share Christ with that dear one.
- Call a children’s home and see if you can come out and read Bible stories or share a great Christian DVD with these who need Jesus.
- Call your local jail and see if they have an opening for someone to lead a Bible study.
- Call a sports league to see if there’s a basketball or softball team that needs a coach; then become a spiritual mentor.
- Call the hospital and see if you can visit the waiting rooms to hand out Christian tracts and offer spiritual support to family members and friends.Take inventory now. Your goal is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, a Christian who can reproduce, has fatherly wisdom, and as a father, meet the needs of others.
For a study of character, nobility, wisdom, courage, and devotion; you will not find a better man than David. In 1 Samuel 13:14 God calls him a man after His own heart. Yet, there’s a dark chapter in David’s life. Second Samuel eleven tells us that David entered into an adulterous affair with Bathsheba. Then in an effort to cover his sin, he had her husband killed.
In Part One of this article, we looked at the situation for the true Christian living in a culture where the prevalent worldview mocks and ridicules the God of the Bible and His precepts for living. And those who stand with Jesus Christ, bravely upholding His precepts against a turning tide, become targets for persecution.
I believe we are living in the lengthening shadows of the last day. I believe Jesus Christ is coming soon, and one of the earmarks is persecution of the saints. We see it on TV, newscasts, and editorial pages. Ridicule any other group and you’ll be in trouble, but the wrath of our culture is reserved for the Christian. The Bible-believing Christian is the whipping boy.
People are continually discussing what’s happening in this country, the Middle East, and every corner of the globe. What many may not realize is that we are already at war—an invisible, unseen war between light and darkness, good and evil. And Satan is our adversary.
Someone reading this article—it may be you—has failed the Lord, and you think perhaps God is finished with you.